A score of centuries has passed since the First Apocalypse and the thoughts of men have turned, inevitably, to more worldly concerns…A veteran sorcerer and spy seeks news of an ancient enemy. A military genius plots to conquer the known world for his Emperor but dreams of the throne for himself. The spiritual leader of the Thousand Temples seeks a Holy War to cleanse the land of the infidel. An exiled barbarian chieftain seeks vengeance against the man who disgraced him. And into this world steps a man like no other, seeking to bind all – man and woman, emperor and slave – to his own mysterious ends. But the fate of men – even great men – means little when the world itself may soon be torn asunder. Behind the politics, beneath the religious fervour, a dark and ancient evil is reawakening. After two thousand years, the No-God is returning. The Second Apocalypse is nigh. And one cannot raise walls against what has been forgotten…
Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Bakker
- The Darkness that Comes Before
- The Warrior Prophet
- The Thousandfold Thought
I read the first one because it always came up when I looked for stories similar to ‘The Malazan Book of the Fallen’. I really wanted to like it but in the end it just bored and confused me. And everything was so bleak! Lots of the characters are really whiny and there are too many philosophical parts. I tried, but I didn’t care for any of the characters. I didn’t understand why they acted the way they did and some of them were too powerful to believe it. It was also hard to follow and understand for me at some points. There are so many weird names, religions, places etc. It’s cool if you want to create a detailed world, but please make it a bit more accessible and don’t be so pretentious. I don’t even remember the action. There was some Holy War going on, but don’t ask me why. Very disappointing.
Sixteen years of slavery have left Seyonne with little sense of who he is, or who he used to be; Carol Berg’s Transformation is the story of how he gradually comes to know himself and becomes a player in the game of empires and kings.
Prince Aleksander is the heir to the Derzhi Empire and is a spoiled brat with no sense of the consequences of his endlessly rash actions. When Seyonne, whom he has whimsically bought as a secretary, realises that the obnoxious youth is in danger from demonic sorcerers, he has no option for self-preservation but to save the prince from them. Then he realises that Aleksander, by this point disgraced, on the run and cursed with shape-changing, has the spark of mystical goodness in him that his own people have been searching for for generations.
Rai Kirah by Carol Berg
This is one of the series I actually thought I’d continue with, because I liked Transformation. The plot is far from new & innovative but I loved the characters, the former slave Seyonne and spoiled prince Aleksander. I loved to read about the development of their relationship and how they both changed throughout the story. There’s some cool shape-shifting, demons and no romance! The emphasis is on friendship instead. I chose not to read part 2 because I read a sample and didn’t like the direction of it. Will check out other books by the author though, Flesh and Spirit has been on my wishlist for a while now. I just pass on this trilogy.
Chalion Series by Lois McMaster-Bujold & The Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster-Bujold
- The Curse of Chalion
- Paladin of Souls
- The Hallowed Hunt
A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril returns to the noble household he once served as page and is named secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions.
But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge — an act that will mark him as a tool of the miraculous . . . and trap him in a lethal maze of demonic paradox.
With The Sharing Knife series, Bujold creates a brand new world fraught with peril, and spins an extraordinary romance between a young farm girl and the brave sorcerer-soldier entrusted with the defense of the land against a plague of vicious malevolent beings. Meet Fawn Bluefield and Dag Redwing Hickory in Beguilement, the first book in Bujold’s unforgettable four-volume fantasy saga, and witness the birth of their dangerous romance—a love threatened by prejudice and perilous magic, and by Dag’s sworn duty as Lakewalker patroller and necromancer.
Both were pretty much just ‘meh’-books for me. There was something missing to keep me interested. I didn’t like any of the characters particularly much, they seemed very bland and one-dimensional to me. The plot in ‘Chalion’ was okay, I definitely didn’t have to force myself to read it. The romance fell very flat unfortunately, I don’t even have an opinion on it. It was just..there. ‘Beguilement’ was awful. The romance was cringey, the plot hardly existed. We spent time with the 2 characters at farm houses or on the road and especially the dude acted like a teenager. I couldn’t take him seriously. I won’t try any more of the authors works.